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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Have you noticed Florida's high school grades haven't come out yet?

From the Orlando Sentinel

by Leslie Postal

Florida high schools are still waiting for their A-to-F school grades, and they may wait until next week.

A memo sent to superintendents yesterday said the grades were expected within 10 days, which would put their release more than two weeks behind last year’s.

The memo, from Deputy Chancellor Kris Ellington, did suggest the Florida Department of Education is well aware superintendents will not be (and probably already aren’t) thrilled with a release coming right before or after Christmas.

“We are mindful of your availability and the timing of this important release, and are working as hard as we can to make the information available to you as soon as possible,” she wrote.

Thanks to a new law that kicked in last year, high school grades are released later than middle and elementary schools’ marks. That’s because their grades are based on more than FCAT scores, and it takes time for the other data (like graduation rates and AP success) to be gathered and calculated.

But superintendents were expecting they’d be out by Dec. 1 this year. Last year, they were released Dec. 7.

The delay holds up the award of “school recognition” money to schools that earn top or improved grades. That money often goes to teacher bonuses, so a delay hurts them, one superintendent said.

Ellington expects to update superintendents again tomorrow, so stay tuned.

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